Italian firm holds €25m first close on debut fund

IA Partners, founded in March by Italian private equity executives Luigi Capello and Uberto Selvatico Estense, hopes to raise €80m for its lower mid-market fund by this time next year.

Rome- and Milan-based IA Partners has held a €25 million first close on its first fund, Industrial Assets, which is targeting an €80 million final close.

The fund’s first deal was in the cleantech sector – a €1 million investment for a 70 percent stake in Solar Green Technology, a Milan-based solar systems integrator – but the Italy-focused, lower mid-market fund will be industry-agnostic, partner and co-founder Luigi Capello told PEO.

Luigi Capello

The firm’s fund will employ a buy-and-build model, purchasing majority stakes in companies with enterprise values ranging from €15 million to €30 million, likely making 12 equity investments of around €6 million each over the life of the fund.

Capello would not disclose information regarding the firm’s limited partners, except to say they are a group of international investors.

Prior to co-founding IA Partners in March, Capello was managing director at Italian private equity firm Industria & Finanza, which he joined in 1997. He co-founded IA Partners with Uberto Selvatico Estense, formerly with Italian private equity real estate firm Accademia.

They are joined by a third partner, Augusto Amatori, and next month will add an additional investment professional and analyst.